"So, you're like a natropath right? What is an herbalist? What does an herbalist do? Why would I go see one?" These are the kinds of questions I get from people almost every single day. It's easy to see why it's confusing. There are as many methods of practicing herbal medicine as there are herbalists. We herbalists don't always make it easy for most people to understand what we do.
Let me try to help. Here are four of the main things an herbalist does and why you need one.
An herbalist usually has cupboards and shelves stocked with all kinds of amazing botanical goodies. Loose or bulk dried herbs, prepared remedies, tinctures (herbal medicines extracted in liquid, usually alcohol), teas, essential oils, salves, really the list can go on and on. Many herbalists (including this myself) maintain a dispensary of plant medicines ready for sale.
Ask an herbalist 'what does this plant do?' and be prepared for a 10 minute story on the value and historical uses of said plant. We plant nerds love to share the wisdom of the plant world, give us half the chance and we may never stop talking.
But seriously, an herbalist can teach you how, when and why to use plant medicine. Sure google can tell you a thing or two (or millions) but an experienced herbalist will help you wade through the wide range of information out there, giving you the information you need to make choices on your wellness path.
Accute Illness support
Herbs work wonders when it comes to cold and flu season. Short term illnesses, minor (and even major) infections, and first aid can all be helped with herbal medicine. An herbalist can help you choose the right herbal and teach you how to use it. A good herbalist will also tell you when to seek other medical attention and when an herbal home remedy is enough.
Waiting until the middle of the night and your child is coughing and no one is sleeping isn't the best time to search google to find out what to do. See point 2, learn prevention and treatment strategies from your herbalist before you need them.
Chronic Illness and Wellness support
This is where an herbalist really shines! Long set unbalances can begin to be set right when the correct herbals are used. An herbalist knows the plants and knows the human body. They then can help you decide which plants will best support restoring balance to your system. Most herbalists will work along side allopathic medicine doctors to help you find wellness.
An herbalist can support you with healing a wide range of complaints; wonky menstrual cycles, chronic digestive complaints and inflamatory bowel disease, some chronic pain, headaches, yeast/candidia, insomnia, autoimmune disorders, menopause, the list goes on and on.